Crowned Fan Favorite during sixth season of Project Runway in 2009, self-taught designer Christopher Straub didn’t put on airs, he just went back home to Shakopee, Minnesota, and put on his Midwestern work ethic.
Straub’s collections embrace not only apparel, but handbags and other accessories, all of which reflect an aesthetic based on nature in form and texture. Inspired by the elemental, Straub’s signature is photo- realistic prints and whimsical design. With a background in art and illustration, Straub also manipulates fabric and strives to create “wearable art,” individually designed statement pieces.
Straub’s imagination appeals to a commercial base as well as to individuals – last year he collaborated with Yoplait for Target, and designed six different yogurt cups inspired by colors and textures from his gowns.
In addition to design, Straub works as the “Style Expert” for the Mall of America, the 520-store complex that also houses the nation’s largest indoor theme park located in Minneapolis – St. Paul. He’s also an author, illustrator, and toy developer for a series of children’s books including Albert the Confused Manatee, Albert’s Underwater ABCs, and Rocky the Confused Platypus. His Midwestern ethic surfaces as well through civic engagement, and Straub is a passionate fundraiser. He developed an eponymous line for maurices, the national women’s clothing chain, that helped raise more than $400,000 for causes including the American Cancer Society, Child Neurology Foundation, Make-A-Wish, and the Children’s Cancer Research Fund, among others. Now a father, Christopher and his husband, Ronnie Cooper, adopted two sons in the summer of 2016.